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tv   Book Discussion on Bad Boy From Rosebud  CSPAN  August 5, 2015 6:30pm-6:38pm EDT

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ople don't know. they are so used to the new york city lifestyle stories. i like people to be able to use it to learn more about austin history. [inaudible] >> long after i'm gone, i want you all to continue to read my stories. [inaudible] >> kenneth allen mcduff was a texas serial killer who was released on parole in 1989. shortly after leaving prison he began killing again. c-span recently spoke with the author of the book "bad boy from rose bed -- rosebud." >> kenneth allen mcduff almost single-handedly brought about one of the largest constructions of prisons in the free world. he became the face of what
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everyone thought was wrong with texas criminals. 10 is allen mcduff was a serial killer who first committed murder in 1966 and was sentenced to death for the brutal murders of three teenagers in the fort worth area. 23 years later, he was paroled even though he had been on death row. the story is long and sordid but in the end, after he got parole he began murdering people in the waco and austin area and got captured again, got convicted again, and got sent back to death row a second time. he is one of only one or two people in the history of the united states who has ever had two different death row numbers. when kenneth allen mcduff was in prison the first time for his murders in the 1960's, the texas prison system did not grow, but
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the population did. in the 1970's and 1980's, a federal judge ruled that texas's prison system was unconstitutionally overcrowded. the state of texas at the time chose not to spend an awful lot of money building more prisons and so instead resorted to her rolling some of the prisons they had -- paroling some of the prisons they had to make room for the new prisoners coming in. in the end they got down to some of the violent criminals like kenneth allen mcduff. he was paroled under a perfectly legal process after having served 23 years, some of which was on death row. he was paroled in the late 1980's. my best estimate is that he started killing all over again probably within a couple days after getting out. we know at least 9 people he murdered, but there's a good chance there are many more bodies out there we have yet to
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find. cap alan mcduff's crimes were so horrific that the reaction of everyone, the legislature, governor ann richards, the people of texas and voters were such that before we began paroling people ever again let's make sure they serve their time. the only way to do that is to build prisons. texas engaged in a prison building spree that is almost unrivaled in the history of the free world. and so, in the end we ended up with a very, very large prison system that had support from a liberal governor like ann richards, a conservative legislature, and the people of texas who voted overwhelmingly to approve the bonds and the taxes required to pay for all of that construction. before the second murder spree of kenneth allen mcduff, the
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texas prison system could house about 40,000 to 60,000 inmates. today the state of texas can incarcerate nearly 200,000 people. i was interested in writing a book about how one person can become the catalyst for such an enormous investment in the building of prisons. what i found out was the capacity of people to be cruel and do evil things to other people no longer surprises me because he was just a beast. shed no tears over kenneth allen mcduff. if we want to be introspective about all of this, we want to look at whether or not we responded to what he did in the best way but he became the
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poster child for capital punishment because in the case of kenneth allen mcduff, you cannot argue the fact that if he had been executed in the 1960's, he would not have been around to kill at least 9 more people in the 1990's. that does not mean we should have the death penalty but it is something that really can't be argued. had he been executed earlier he would not have been on death row a second time. the question is not whether or not we have a lot of executions as much as much as it is whether or not it is good public policy. is it good public policy to execute a person? you can throw in the moral arguments on both sides of that. is it just us? -- justice? should a state pay an employee to put another citizen to death? those are tough questions that have no easy answers.
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i want people who read "the bad boy from rosebud" to understand this is more than just a story about a terrible person and a vicious, heartless, brutal criminal. this is a story about what one individual can do to a population that is really a high impact on public policy, fiscal policy, and laws in general. >> the c-span city store continues with university of texas professor margaret rodriguez on her book "texas mexican-americans and postwar civil rights." professor rivas-rodriguez: we
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really trace our indigenous roots to the very beginning of when texas had people on it. after the u.s.-mexico war, there was the treaty of guadalupe-hidalgo which gave about a third of mexico's landmass to the united states. they sold it for $15 million. as part of the treaty, the people of mexican descent who are left in what used to be mexico and now was part of the united states were supposed to have all the same rights as any american citizen. but what ended up happening was that pretty soon they were relegated to second class citizenship. we had segregated schools, no schools and a lot of places. we had segregated public institutions.


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